The Maersk Line is noted for its hard driving and today's visitor Maersk Pembroke certainly shows the signs. On of four ships maintaining a weekly transatlantic schedule for Maersk, the ship earns its keep.
Built in 1998 as P&O Nedlloyd Sydney (Maersk took over P&O Nedlloyd) the ship has a capacity of 2890 TEU in a hull of 31,333 gross tons. A relatively small ship by container ship standards today, it caters to refrigerated cargo, with its essentially identical sisters Maersk Patras, Maersk Palermo and Maersk Penang.
The ships maintain the following rotation: Halifax, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Le Havre, Montreal, Halifax. Spending only a few hours in any given port, there is a ship in Halifax each Saturday. As foreign flag vessels, the are not permitted to carry cargo between Canadian ports.
In an interesting turn of events, CMA/CGM, which has ceased calling in Halifax, but has a slot arrangement with Maersk, has 100 empty containers in Montreal, which it wishes to transport to Halifax. It has applied to the Canadian Transportation Agency for a coasting license to use Maersk Penang to transport the boxes to Halifax February 15-18. It remains to be seen if any Canadian shipping companies have ships available for this work. If not, we may see a number of CMA/CGM boxes arrive next weekend on the regular Maersk ship visit.
In September of last year Maersk Line Canada made similar application to carry 100 empty containers from Montreal to Halifax, but was not granted a coasting license because two Canadian shipping companies were deemed to have ships available. The two objectors, McKeil Marine and Algoma Central Corp do not own container ships. McKeil has barges that could carry containers. Algoma would have to use bulk carriers that have no container fittings on deck.
Now that it is winter, and McKeil's barges and Algoma's bulkers are in seasonal layup, it will be interesting to see what happens.